A polymerase chain reaction-derived clone with sequence homology to partial-length shark and salamander Wnt-10a was used to screen a zebrafish cDNA library, yielding a cDNA encoding a full-length Wnt polypeptide. Transcripts encoding zebrafish wnt10a are first detected during the segmentation period of embryogenesis, at a time when there is extensive development and differentiation of the central nervous system. wnt10a transcripts are confined to differentiating brain regions, with expression first appearing diffusely in the floor of the hindbrain ventricle and proceeding anteriorly to the mid- and forebrain. Comparatively, zebrafish wnt1 transcripts are expressed in a stripe at the future midbrain-hindbrain boundary and at the future forebrain-midbrain border. With the differentiation of the neural tube into distinct regions, wnt1 signals are also detected along the dorsal midline of the midbrain, the mid- and posterior hindbrain, and the spinal cord. These patterns suggest roles for wnt10a in the regionalization of the brain.